Our Story

I started Island Specialties in Pawleys Island in 2017 after a four-year hiatus from operating a similar retail business called Harbor Specialties, which my former husband and I managed for 12 years. During my time away from selling clothing and accessories, I was fortunate to work for a reusable bag company, MY ECO, managed a 3rd grade reading program funded by an AmeriCorps grant I wrote the previous year.  These were all fulfilling activities for someone navigating a return to single life while raising three quite different teens.  

After those four years of fulfilling activities, however, I decided to open a new store called Island Specialties.  Its focus is on practical yet often unique gifts and apparel, much of which caters to outdoor recreational activities. Starting a business is risky, challenging, and even scary, especially if making lots of money is not your focus. 

Our Team

What I missed most about operating a retail store was not the profits but the people. I thrive on the energy and stories generated by relationships. Helping people from all walks of life and from so many different places is my passion. I view retail as a service industry. Over the years, I first met many of my closest friends when they walked into the store looking for something they needed. Nothing makes my resourceful team and me happier than to have familiar faces visit the store, whether they are locals living in the Lowcountry or visitors from around the world who share stories with us and enjoy their shopping experience.

What we learn and share with each other makes us better people, a better business, and a better community.  The communal nature of small business ownership is the greatest reward. My effort to make Island Specialties an enticing crossroads for fellowship and mutual aid is what most excites and inspires me as I open the door to cherished customers each morning.